EC opens antitrust probe into Apple Pay, Apple’s App Store


The European Commission is investigating Apple for its App Store and Apple Pay.

[…] over how Apple takes a 30 percent commission on every subscription signed up through its App Store in the first year, and then a 15 percent cut.

At the same time, the companies complained, Apple has promoted its own music and books services. The European Commission is also looking at whether App Store rules stifle competition in gaming and cloud services, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation.

Apple has made quite a lot of people unhappy with its stance on in-App purchases. On one hand it’s pushing them (and subscriptions), on the other hand they are exceptions from their Family Sharing program.

Forcing all payments for digital goods to go through their system is inconvenient for the user (can’t buy e.g. Kindle ebooks from within the Amazon app, have to through their website), because Apple wants their 30% cut and Amazon doesn’t want to give that cut away. Nobody wins. Apple doesn’t get their 30%, the other businesses (Netflix, Amazon, etc) are losing some of their customers (who are unwilling to switch to the website, because the app isn’t even allowed to link to the site), and users have to suffer from the inconvenience.

The fact that they can offer their own services (Apple Music, Apple Arcade, Apple TV+) without the inconvenience and without giving away any profit is clearly an antitrust issue and I’m hoping that the EC is slapping them with a big fine. Apple needs to stop their crap.

The Verge provides more information about the investigation into Apple Pay:

Apple has limited access to the Near Field Communication (NFC) functionality of its iPhone and Apple Watch devices, a move that means banks and other financial service providers can’t offer NFC payments through their own apps.

I see the point, but I’d honestly prefer to use Apple Pay instead of the usually pretty meh apps from banks. My debit card doesn’t support Apple Pay yet (and I rarely pay with my credit card which does support it). Their app isn’t exactly crap, but it’s not good either. Just a solid meh.

However if the EC rules that they have to open that functionality and my bank then implements NFC payments within their own app, I’m not gonna complain.

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